Maidenhair Spleenwort


A delicate fern found on walls, bridges and rocky places.


 

Maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes) is a charming little plant with a rather unusual name. Spleenworts are members of the fern family with special structural characteristics. They do not usually grow in the ground like many other plants, instead preferring rocky or wooden substrates. Many spleenworts are found in fairly unique places like crevices in rocks on mountain sides and are quite hard to find but the maidenhair spleenwort is widespread and can be found on walls and rocks virtually anywhere. Bridges and garden walls are the usual places to find them but this one was on the disused platform at Wareham Station. 

They are not difficult to identify as they are small plants, have a typical fern-like appearance, and have a distinctive black central stem off of which the 'leaves' form alternately, left then right. 

I cannot find where the name originates from but presumably spleenworts were considered to be beneficial to the spleen if eaten, this may or may not be true and I do not suggest you try it to see!


 

Common Name Maidenhair Spleenwort
Scientific Name Asplenium trichomanes
Interest Level
3/5
Related Species - CLICK TO VIEW Spleenworts
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